The list of vacant buildings in town hands is about to grow even more, according to Town Manager Michael Embury.
With to reject a $3.85-million bond to , the fate of the former school now has a big question mark next to its name. Also in last week’s election, voters authorized the town to sell the building, which has been vacant since 2005.
Council members Michael Bestwick and Charles Stamm both expressed disappointment in last week’s election decision. Stamm stated he didn’t think the school's “story was well told” while Bestwick suggesting repackaging the bond and submitting it during the general election.
“I think people spoke loud and clear,” said council member Charles Brennan. “With the economy like it is, I don’t think people want to spend that kind of money.”
Also added to the list of vacant buildings owned by the town last night was on School Street.
According to Embury, the Children’s Workshop program (which holds preschool services in the building) is bankrupt and can no longer operate. In four weeks, the building will be closed down. To boot, the school needs $20,000 in maintenance work and another $60,000 to replace a failing boiler.
“That’s a lot of money for a facility that’s only 2,000 square feet,” said Embury.
According to Director of Public Works Phil Bergeron, the building has no historic designation. Bestwick suggested closing and selling the building, which would require voter approval.
Last night, the council added those two properties to a land surveying services bid for Garofalo & Associates, Inc., which will also look at town properties on Reynolds Street and Oak Hill Road.
Embury warns that Davisville Elementary School, which closed last year, may also be added to the list.
“Right now, we have five white elephants on our hands,” said Embury.
Embury suggested reaching out to a professional organization to market these properties for sale.
“We don’t have the staff to keep answering questions or to bring people on tours,” said Embury. “I think a professional organization is the way to go.”